As one of the biggest assets as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches on July 31, Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado has grown accustomed to hearing his name mentioned in trade rumors.
“Everywhere, I see it’s just Manny, Manny, Manny,” Machado told reporters Monday afternoon before the Orioles’ doubleheader against the New York Yankees. “It kind of gets a little distracting at times. But it’s just a matter of just trying to let it all out.
“Once I come here and step in this clubhouse, I’m just a ballplayer. I’m just trying to win some games. I’m trying to be myself. I’m trying to go out there and have fun. That’s the only thing that keeps me going. I love this game so much, and I’m able to go out there every day and put on a show and be the best player I can be out there.”
Machado will be the starting shortstop for the American League in the All-Star Game next week. After that, the trade rumors likely will get louder. He’s a free agent at the end of the season, and with the Orioles at 24-65 — a major league worst .270 winning percentage, entering Monday — it makes sense for Baltimore to trade him.
A number of contenders, including Arizona, Atlanta, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and St. Louis, have been mentioned as potential trading partners.
No matter where he winds up, he said he knows much of his time at the All-Star Game in Washington, D.C., will be dominated by trade talk.
“I’ve had to deal with it all year. It’s been nonstop, every city we’ve gone to, with reporters asking questions,” he said. “Like I said before, I’ve answered all the questions I needed to answer. Obviously there’s going to be some more new questions coming out there at that time. I’m sure there’s probably going to be quite a few teams that they’re going to want to ask questions about. Those are just things that I’m just going to have to deal with it when it comes and just try to enjoy the moment when I get there.
“At the end of the day, it’s about enjoying your family, enjoy with your friends and the closest people to you that have gotten you there to that position. Other than that, just enjoy it as much as I can because I’m the starting shortstop and I worked to get there to this position. I’m very grateful and humbled at same time.”
Machado, 26, has played in 88 games this season. He’s batting .313 with 21 home runs and 60 RBIs.
–Field Level Media